Meet Reva Resstack! She’s majoring in economics and international development, and recently attended Feminist Camp in New York City, with help from a grant from NCI.
Describe yourself and why you wanted to attend Feminist Camp:
I’m studying economics and international development, and am soon entering the professional field! One of the themes of this year’s Feminist Camp was Feminist Philanthropy. After having worked for the Salvadoran NGO International Partners for some years, I was interested in learning more about my place as a white woman working for an international NGO that attempts to empower people to empower themselves. I wanted to learn how to introduce a feminist framework to this ideology of empowering development in my future line of work.
What were your favorite parts of the conference?
I loved going to visit Democracy Now, which was certainly an inspiring experience. We met with Amy Goodman, who is a wonderful role model to me. I also very much enjoyed getting to hear from Justine Moore on her experiences being incarcerated and how she introduced feminism in her work in all-women prison. The discussion with all the campers was fantastic, as well, as everyone was coming from a variety of backgrounds, geographic regions, and identities. I really loved listening to my fellow campers, too.
Highlight information you learned on reproductive health and reproductive justice:
I very much enjoyed getting to meet Merle Hoffman, who founded the Choices Medical Center. Choices Medical Center is a wonderful reproductive health clinic. They offer a wide range of services that allows many women to get prenatal care, abortions, postnatal care, and even therapy for the surrounding community. We were shown a specimen in the clinic, as well, and that was fascinating. It’s smaller than an M&M!
Tell us what you learned that you hope to never forget:
I hope to never forget the passion that was in everyone both attending Feminist Camp and presenting to us as leaders of incredible feminist organizations. Everyone was determined to make sure they lived their lives as feminists, supporting one another to be the best they could be in a loving, understanding manner, and that I hope I carry with me for life.
Why should other students attend Feminist Camp?
Feminist Camp introduced me to people working at wonderful feminist organizations, including the Feminist Press, the Sadie Nash Leadership Project, Planned Parenthood, and the Women & Justice Project. Making those connections were invaluable. But I also got to meet a bunch of wonderful campers. Hearing both the women’s stories who started these powerful and feminist organizations and the people’s stories who came as campers was probably the most wonderful part of Feminist Camp. That was incredibly motivational.
How did this experience help with your future ambitions?
This experience helped shape how I want to implement sustainable development efforts. By taking in a feminist framework and supporting whoever I can with an emphasis on women’s capabilities in developing countries, my future ambitions will be served. While I still don’t know what I want to do, I now know that in whatever I may do, those acting with a feminist framework will be best uplifted, supported, and empowered in their efforts.
Does this sound like something you might be interested in? Tulane undergraduate students can apply to NCI for funding to attend Feminist Camp. Email Betsy Lopez at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.